Spring Broke: Students take cheap spring break vacations

Lindsey Ferris

As Austin clears out and tourists roll in, students get ready for spring break plans.

Being on a college budget can be hard, but making college memories is easy with planning and budgeting. Ahead of this year’s spring break, students reflected on their past tips and shared tips on how to have fun and travel on a budget.

Choral studies junior Alessio Nachtergaele said while planning a budget-friendly vacation isn’t easy, it’s not impossible.

“If you’re really trying to keep it cheap, it’s just going to take a little time and planning,” Nachtergaele said.

Nachtergaele picked a low-cost destination in a Dallas suburb lake and minimized costs by staying in an Airbnb.

“We just went to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted,” Nachtergaele said, “We wanted to get away from the structure of city life and school.”

Public relations senior Michaela Newman went to Tennessee with only $200 in her pocket. She and Nachtergaele said they drove to their destination with friends, splitting the cost of gas.

Business sophomore Charlotte Toomey said she decided to fly to New York and was still able to stay within her budget due to family resources.

“My dad flies a lot for work so he had a free ticket,” Toomey said. “We split the cost for the second.”

Newman said a challenging aspect of the trip was finding a place to stay. Booking a hotel would have been difficult within her budget, so instead she stayed with a friend.

Nachtergaele and Toomey said Airbnbs are a cheaper alternative to hotels while traveling.

“It was cheap and fun and by a lake,” Nachtergaele said. “We got an Airbnb trailer so it was nothing fancy but it was $50 a night split between five people.”

Once the logistics are sorted, vacationers can focus on the trip’s itinerary. Nachtergaele said his spring break was planned as a trip for relaxing.

“Our friend group is really into board games,” Nachtergaele said. “We would play all night and then during the day we would lay outside by the lake.”

Newman said she found low-cost activities to partake in, minimizing the need to spend additional money. She walked around the different iconic areas of Nashville and ate at friend’s suggested eateries.

Toomey said she did extensive research to find deals in the often expensive New York City.

”Museums have discounts for students or certain hours that are cheaper,” Toomey said. “I also have a friend who works for a news company and gave us her press pass for one of them.”

Toomey and Newman used connections to lower their vacation’s bottom line. Looking to local friends for their knowledge and recommendations can help enhance a trip, Toomey said.

Food is one thing students are ready to splurge on. Simple adjustments such as purchasing two meals a day instead of three can help lower costs.

“We cut it down by doing Brunch and dinner one day rather than three meals,” Toomey said.

Nachtergaele said he limited spending money on food by stocking up at the grocery store beforehand. He said this also helped mitigate conflict surrounding where or what to eat.

“We’re not going to have spring break after college. So, take advantage of it,” Toomey said.